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Project Spotlight

Guests to Impress

By Kali

Guests to Impress

Design: Ali Hynek // Images: Becky Kimball

Entrepreneur Ali Hynek puts her guests first with two bathrooms that will leave you starstruck. We're sharing more about Ali and her two beautiful bathrooms on today's blog! 

Can you tell me a bit about yourself and what you do?
I am the CEO of Nena & Co and a social entrepreneur! We focus on designing and creating textiles with indigenous women and men in remote places around the world. We then take the textiles and use them to design and manufacture handbags, clothing and accessories which are sold directly to our customer. I am also a mother of three year old GGB (identical girls and one fraternal boy) triplets and one 5 month old little dude. I spend all my time running my international business and chasing babies around!

This bold guest bath features our handpainted Vitoria and Large Star and Cross in Daisy.

How did you hear about Fireclay Tile? What did you enjoy about the experience?
I think I found Fireclay on Instagram! Even the simplest white subway tile has so much depth and is so eye catching. One of the things I enjoyed most was how many creative and detailed choices there were. I usually know what I like but want a lot of options to consider first.

Why do you love tile?
I love Fireclay Tile for so many reasons! I really respect that they are a sustainable brand. That's not easy to do and when a brand offers a sustainable product I have so much respect for them. I also loved that I could customize my tile. The designs speak for themselves but to be able to have a color scheme in mind and to create a custom piece of artwork that can go on your floor and wall is so luxurious!

Ali Hynek customized our handpainted Vitoria pattern with our online Color-It Tool to create the perfect tile for her guest bathroom.

What are your 3 best design tips?
1. Be daring! I like using creative or outside of the box tile on my floors. It’s almost like having a rug that is waterproof.

We're starry eyed for this shower that features our handpainted Vitoria in a custom colorway paired with Large Star and Cross in Daisy.

Tile Shown: Custom Vitoria with Large Star and Cross in Daisy 

2. If you go for white, choose a more interesting pattern! You can add so much to a space without using any color at all when you choose a pattern like Star and Cross.

Large Star and Cross in Daisy creates texture and pattern in this guest bathroom.

Tile Shown: Large Star and Cross in Daisy 

3. Neutrals can be more colorful than you think! I find that neutrals can be soft blues and greens and even patterned without screaming at you when you walk in a room. Blues and greens can be very light and breezy and add a calming effect to a space.

This powder room packs on the glamour with our luxe Venetian Green tiles in a stacked 3x12 pattern..

Tile Shown: 3x12 in Venetian Green 

Fun fact about yourself?
I took a year off life (while I was single) and traveled the world and haven’t stopped traveling since! I’ve been to over 60 countries and love incorporating things I’ve bought while traveling into my home decor like rugs from Morocco and Turkey, six foot posters from Spain or dishes from Japan.


Can you tell me about your home? Were these bathroom updates a part of a remodel or renovation of your entire home?
We bought our 1990’s rambler home in December of 2014 for its location and “good bones.” We called it “The Church House” while we were considering it for our home because it was so nice and airy but you almost felt like you had to whisper. Since an 80 year old couple built and owned it, it had spotless rose blush carpet, rose blush cabinets, and rose blush paint on the walls. 

Here is the Power room before: 


It was no questions a fixer upper and I knew we would get to work on it over time and not all at once. We decided we would remodel the house in order of how much we used each space starting with the kitchen, master bathroom and then the guest bathrooms and laundry room.

Here is the powder room after: 

3x12 tiles straight set in Venetian Green.

Tile Shown: 3x12 in Venetian Green

It's kind of nice to do it that way just because there is always something new I discover during each remodel and I’m more of an expert renovator after my 4th and 5th projects!

What type of look or aesthetic were you going for?
I like "Bohemian Luxury" which is how I describe the product my company Nena & Co produces but it's also how I like to describe my home. Another description might be contemporary and eclectic.  

Let's talk about the guest bathroom first... How did you come up with your color scheme and design?
I wanted to have fun with my guest bathroom and powder room and thought worst case scenario, if I don’t LOVE them, at least it's not my master bathroom that I use everyday. I took more chances using a colorful custom pattern on the floor and using Daisy white on the walls but in the star and cross pattern.

This guest bath goes bold with floor to ceiling tile in both our handpainted and specialty shape tiles.

Make a tile that is all your own. All of our handpainted patterns are customizable with our online Color-It Tool.

Tile Shown: Custom Vitoria with Large Star and Cross in Daisy 

I was definitely inspired by my recent visit to Morocco. I am so touched by the designs and color combinations found in there and wanted to incorporate that into my home and the guest bathroom was where I experimented. Again, I consider light blues and greens neutrals because they give a space a sense of calm. So I was automatically drawn to those colors.

Star power galore in this guest bathroom featuring handpainted Vitoria and Large Star and Cross.

Tile Shown: Tile Shown: Custom Vitoria with Large Star and Cross in Daisy 

What made you choose the Vitoria? Were there any other patterns you were considering?
Vitoria was kind of it for me. I had one other I was considering but I mostly asked for variations of color in Vitoria. I liked the idea of a star shape and making the pattern within it more interesting with variations in the color.

Handpainted Vitoria in a custom colorway of Daisy, Dusty Blue, Pewter and Sunflower.

Tile Shown: Handpainted Vitoria in a custom colorway of Daisy, Dusty Blue, Pewter and Sunflower.

How was your experience using the color-it tool?
I really enjoyed using the Color it! Tool to get ideas of what I could potentially create! It made the arrival of the finalized product so much more exciting because it felt so much more personal! It was easy to use and really brings out your creative flow.

These two starry tile patterns compliment each other beautiful in this guest shower.

Tile Shown: Custom Vitoria with Large Star and Cross in Daisy 

How about the Large Star and Cross in Daisy?
I’ve used plenty of white subway tile in my kitchen and I wanted to incorporate white on the walls but make it more interesting with a fun pattern. It adds so much to the room.

Pattern play with our specialty shape Star and Cross and handpainted Vitoria.

Now onto the powder room...what was the inspiration here?
I wanted it to be a very bold, glam room. It's the most used bathroom in our home by guests and I wanted it to be a “wow” experience when they went in. Bold colors complimented by a monochromatic mural in rich green colors is a show stopper.

Design Tip: Don't forget about trim! This powder room's 1x6 flatliners add a finishing touch. 

Don't forget about trim! This powder room's 1x6 flatliners add a finishing touch.

Tile Shown: 3x12 in Venetian Green

What made you choose the 3x12 in Venetian Green? Were there any other contenders?
To be honest I know what I like when I see it, so there really weren't any other contenders! The size 3x12” is more impressive and like the example of using a more intricate shape, if you’re set on using white, you can use a bold color in the subway tile and make more subtle, but dramatic statements using exaggerated sizes.

3x12 tiles in Venetian Green in a straight set pattern.

3x12 tiles in Venetian Green trimmed with 1x6 Flatliners.

How did the installation process go? Did you face any challenges? Did you work with a tile installer or contractor?
Install was pretty standard. My tile guys was excited to add this project to his portfolio because it's a bit unique and the tile was so beautiful!

3x12 tiles in Venetian Green.

How was designing for your own home? Lessons learned?
I love designing for my home! I enjoy the customization of each detail but I did a lot of research and asked a lot of questions. I would say my biggest mistake is not paying attention to the dimensions of things like faucet verses the type of mirror I picked and the clearance of space between. I had to do a few exchanges when my mirrors came-- they looked like they were for a doll house!

Large Star and Cross in our matte white glaze, Daisy.

What Fireclay products are you dying to use in future projects?
I already have it mapped out! I want to use the Glazed Thin Brick floor to ceiling around my fireplace when I’m ready to work on the family room. It’s already in my design plans!

Starry eyed for these two glam bathrooms? Order color samples online now or have a go with our Color-It Tool. Need some help? Simply call, chat or fill out our Design Assistance Form and one of our talented Design Consultants will get back to your shortly. 

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